Do you ever take a good hard look at your life and wonder ‘what the hell am I doing?’ Ya. That happened to me today.
I am wise enough to know I am far from perfect. I also know that the only thing one can control is themselves and their own actions. That being said, for some time now I’ve been trying to change/improve myself and some of my relationships in life. I figured, since I know I’m not perfect, I could stand to use some improvement on my behavior and pretty much my overall personality. There were people in my life I trusted to give me constructive criticism to help guide me along my path. I believed they loved me and therefore wanted the best for me. I decided to no longer focus outward on other people’s actions or behavior for a while as there was nothing I could do about them any way.
My theory (me and my theories I know) was if I looked inward enough, most of the problems within my personal relationships would organically improve with the self improvement I was bound to make. I will tell you what… No one could have been more committed to a positive improvement or outcome than I was. I was on a mission. It would be my journey to happiness through self enlightenment. Would wouldn’t want that right? Right.
Months flew by and with my mission to happiness at the forefront of my mind, I made many painful observations about myself. Looking that hard into a mirror of honesty is not for the faint of heart. But as they say, anything worth having, is worth fighting for. And boy it was a fight. I opened my mind, and with eyes wide open, starred right into the face of my shortcomings. The mirror of reality seemed to magnify the pain I felt every time I inspected my flaws. Although I knew the truth would hurt, I didn’t know how bad it would be.
After months of hard work and letting go *que Elsa singing from Frozen* I my changes no longer seemed to feel like change. They were becoming the norm and I was committed to being happy. No longer would I say ‘I know’ when someone pointed out an area for self improvement. When I heard the advice I would take a blow to the gut and worked to overcome that problem I had created. Along my path, I made many apologies, owned up to my mistakes and quit making excuses. I worked tirelessly to be a better version of myself and live a happier life.
Now although the self modification was mostly for myself; one big reason I really wanted to be a better person or version of my self (Heather 2.0) was to improve the relationships I had with my loved ones. One person specifically, who’s opinion to me matters very much, was more open than others about things I should work on. Take it from me; getting told what’s wrong with you by one of the people you care for the most is even harder than looking into the mirror reality. I am a very loving and sensitive person so hearing someone you love say how you’ve hurt them when you didn’t have to hurts me badly. With as deeply as I care for my loved ones, I cannot stand them being hurt. Even worse by me.
Now back to the ‘what the hell am I doing’. Here’s what had happened.
What had happened wasss… Since the beginning of my journey (I am still and will always walking down the path of self improvement) I tried my best and focusing only inward on myself and ignoring the actions of others. That was working well. But today, I took a step back from the trees I was walking though to take a peak at the forest to see how things were shaking up. You know… take a look at the relationships in my life. I couldn’t believe what I finally saw. I had been looking the other way when it came to everyone else and their actions for so long, I hadn’t realized some of the people I cared for the most didn’t care for me at all.
In fact, one of the people I loved the most was only interested in what my positive change could do for them and could care less about my happiness. I had spent so much time and energy trying to make this person happy in a relationship with me. I wanted them see the real Heather who is full of fun, love and happiness. I trusted them to be as committed to my happiness as I was theirs. Because I was so focused inward, I failed to realize the relationship I was trying so hard to save only had one person in it. I was being taken advantage of. My love and generosity was being used with no return on my investment. It stopped me dead in my tracks.
Moral of the story: always be the best version of yourself. Look inwards to be the change you want as much as you can. You can never expect or even ask anyone to change for you. But never let yourself be blinded with the smoke and mirrors of a person who is only looking to taken advantage of you.